Isetan Westgate Supermarket – an unlikely place to wine and dine

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We all know that the Isetan Westgate Supermarket is a lovely place with a wide selection of Japanese food.  A lesser known fact is that it is also a great place to hang out for wine and sake drinkers.  A wine and sake counter provides a convenient place to taste the promotional wine and sake that are featured daily.  The Isetan supermarket also has a large section of ready to eat food that can be consumed at the counter with your drink.  We saw some folks doing just that and we decided to join them!

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There were two kinds of wines and sake being featured that day.  The wines did not look interesting but the sake did.  They were sold by the bottle or glass. At $7 and $8 per glass respectively, this was a good way to sample the sake before buying them.  But we first had to get some food to go with the sake.

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There is no shortage of food selections at Isetan Westgate supermarket. Both raw food and cooked items were available.  The raw fish items, sushi and sashimi, looked so attractive.

We were hesitant about eating such raw fish because of the recent food poisoning incidents in Singapore.  Is it safe to eat supermarket sushi in Singapore?  For the sake of this blog, we decided to put our lives on the line.    But being secretly chicken, we concluded that the trays that were marked “air-flown” were probably the safest.  The labels did not say air-flown from where. We just presumed it was Japan.  We are gullible chickens.

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Unfortunately, all the ‘airflown’ items were the more costly ones.  We settled on a plate of honmaguro ootoro sashimi ($28.90) and a curry pork cutlet bento ($14.80).  The latter was freshly made and still warm. They can heat up the food (by microwave) on request.

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Back to the counter with our purchases, we tried one each of the two types of sake on offer.  They were fruity and smooth.  They tasted quite similar and we ended up buying a bottle of the one with flowers on the label on account of its lower price ($43 for 720ml).

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The ootoro was nice and fatty. It was quite expensive for supermarket sashimi – $28 for 6 slices.  Not as good as eating in a proper restaurant, but it was better than we expected. More importantly, nothing bad happened to us.  So it seems that eating supermarket sushi in Singapore is safe! The pork cutlet curry was actually very good and comparable to those in restaurants. I think it is crucial to get a freshly made one.  Microwaving will soften the crispness of the batter.

The good thing about eating in a supermarket is that if the food is not enough, we could browse and get more.  We tried a third item.  The tray of Unagi Don ($13.80) came with unagi, rice and sticks of yakitori. This one was so so item. The yakitori was smothered with too much sweet sauce and the eel had a slightly muddy taste.

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It was an interesting experience eating and wining in a supermarket.  Wines and sake that are bought from Isetan (not just the promotional items) can be consumed there.  This makes it a nice place to meet for happy hour with drinks at supermarket prices!

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Isetan Supermarket
B2-01 Westgate
3 Gateway Drive
Singapore 608532

Opening hours:
Sunday to Thursday 10am – 9pm
Friday, Saturday, and 10am – 9:30pm
eve of Public Holidays

Isetan Singapore Website

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